Cops In Massive Raid On UK Illegal Immigrant Ring

CENPublished: March 28, 2018
Published: March 28, 2018

A criminal organisation that brought in scores of illegal immigrants to the UK from Spanish ports has been smashed by the Civil Guard.

The migrants – mostly from Albania but also Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan – were stowed away on ferries and cruise liners destined for UK ports.

The immigrants left Spain from Santander in Cantabria and Santurtzi in the Basque Country.

Civil Guard officers arrested gang members of Spanish, Albanian and Iraqi origin, accused of facilitating the immigrants' entry into the UK. Three were detained in Santander and four in Santurtzi during ‘Operation Hegira’.

The seven suspects are charged with human trafficking and belonging to a criminal organisation.

According to reports, migrants were brought from their place of origin to accommodation in the two Spanish autonomous communities.

The gang would then smuggle them into Spanish ports through perimeter fences and hide the immigrants in caravans, trailers, and containers while vehicles were queuing to board UK-bound ferries.

When Spanish authorities raided three homes, police allegedly found locked rooms overcrowded with immigrants.

Agents seized electronic devices, bank cards and numerous fake documents, passports and forms of identification.

The Civil Guard began the operation when they noticed a large number of Albanian nationals entering the Port of Bilbao in Santurtzi.

Officers also detected an increase in people travelling illegally to the UK after they had been intercepted in either Spanish or UK ports.

The case continues.

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